UHNM’s paediatric team has won the ‘best training unit’ award at this year’s West Midlands PAFTAs (Paediatric Awards for Training Achievements).
The trust beat more than 10 other organisations to the top place, which is given by paediatric trainees. Results were announced in August, with winners required to demonstrate excellence in education, training and support in line with the principles of the RCPCH (Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health) trainees’ charter.
Staffordshire Children’s Hospital at Royal Stoke provides care to the children of Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent and beyond.
Paediatric Registrar Dr Amal Elzubair, from Sudan, joined the team at UHNM in 2016 and was nominated for the ‘best senior trainee’ award.
Amal said: “Coming to a foreign country and joining a new healthcare system comes with its challenges and the transition can be difficult for international medical graduates until they find the right support channels.
“I was fortunate to start my paediatrics training at Staffordshire Children’s Hospital, working with the paediatric team here is a great place to start as a registrar. You get an excellent level of support and exposure to lots of different specialties because it’s a very busy department which covers a large geographical area. Fortunately, this means that you get to develop a lot of skills in a short space of time. Consultants are keen to support trainees in gaining the knowledge and clinical skills needed to pass their exams, progress in their career and pursue their interests.
“It’s a great honour and a privilege to be nominated for the PAFTA award, but everything we have achieved has been through collaborative team effort and I am really just representing my colleagues. My passion for paediatrics and the resilience and skills I have gained from my experience motivate me to give back and do more. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in the department and give a special thanks to my supervisors, who have gone the extra mile to support me.
“I remind myself every day that I don’t come to work to make a living, I come to make a difference.”
Royal Stoke’s neonatal unit was also nominated for the ‘best training unit’ award, with Dr Sim Rao nominated for ‘training hero’ and Dr Meghana Pearson for ‘education supervisor of the year’.
Dr Anna Pigott, clinical director, said: “Our unit was praised for the educational opportunities we provide to students and for having consultants who take an interest in the progression of trainees and make them feel an integral part of the team.
“We were thrilled to receive this feedback and our thanks go to the entire team for such a wonderful contribution to paediatric training. I am so proud of all my colleagues who work very hard to ensure our trainee paediatricians develop and grow during their placements.
“We are delighted to receive the award and the fact that it has come from trainees makes it extra special.”
Melissa Hubbard, divisional chair, said: “We were also commended on our support of trainees who are not full-time and for working with trainees to find solutions to rota problems.
“This is an amazing achievement and a reflection of all the hard work our team put in out of hours. It highlights the quality of the support and teaching we provide but also how friendly the unit is, especially our nursing team who are so caring and empathetic to juniors.
“For me this feels life changing for our work family. What we have grown here over the 20 years is extraordinary. Excellence in attitude breeds the same and the doctors we have brought on over these years are now shining even brighter. I am so proud of everyone and very grateful to the junior doctors for recognising us.”